Quick Inventory

My fear for 303:
No achievable speed of repair
Can outrun the dilapidation
We’re alone there
But for God’s ministration.

My fear for me:
About the same.


I sometimes wonder
At human affection:
A gap in proximity,
A few steps in the other direction,
And we all fall silent.

People orbit,
Even compound,
Where there is some mutual benefit,
Some stake in the ground,
But who lifts up the useless?

Dark Nights and Bright Stars

This isn’t a poem.
It’s barely a prayer,
My soul is wrenched
By desperate despair
Railing against my huddled joy
Smiling between blows,
Because between black and blue,
She knows, she always knows,
Morning breaks new.

Pains and Promises

Be my sustainer,
Through exhausted nights
When my anarchic flesh
Wakes me with bites
Of breakdowns and threats
Sustain my flight
From birth to endless praise.

Take my family in Your hands
Like You have all our days
In Your stalwart tenderness
Protect us and renew our ways
To serve You as we enjoy
Lifting ever purer praise-
As You move, we are able.

Forgive the stubborn sins
You died to forgive
Before we relented, before
We cried out to live:
After You reached into my chest
Squeezing the stone impassive,
Transforming it into a beating thing.

And the attacks land
On this buffeted body
But I rejoice I can still crawl
Our family suffers the volley,
Pummeled quietly,
But we remain Godly,
Because You are God of all,

And we are Yours.
Wrap us in the tenderest provision.

Father of Lights

It isn’t in some hidden crevice,
Some dark corner outside Your realm,
That I process out the gathered sludge
Of moments overwhelmed
To see Your heart instead.

You are capable beyond comprehension:
As I refer to human abilities
To connect the pieces in cohesion,
Our intricately imbalanced fragilities;
We don’t know true comprehension.

We know You are capable beyond
To weave redemption, reconciliation,
Shocking our concrete sensibilities,
Our most fanciful imaginations,
Into humble adoration.

I don’t know
If through this heated furnace
You’ll deliver mightily,
Or if the day displays in earnest
Another shade of Your glory.

But I do know
He who Is, is able to command,
And every moment that follows
Flows from the same Hands
That formed man,

And was pierced for the same;
The Hands that will come again to reign.

Irretrievable Sums

Foundations measured oft and laid
With painstaking care in precise order
Even lines and distributed weight-
A cement marriage, balanced daughters,

But the brick rubble of the prior structure
Heaps into my mountain view
The sense of constant deconstruction
Urging me to build anew

Yet these bricks will just as likely crumble
I cannot build to former glories,
And each brick inside my simple hovel
Has seen a more magnificent story.

And I look for those who wear their gloves
Who understand what bricks may mean,
The perishing beauty in single pieces of
Antique constructions now unseen.

Some days I go out alone
To sit among bricks of disordered decay
Listening to palacial whispers
From fallen yesterdays.

The Long Drive Home

Underneath all my lashings,
Linguistic writhings in the steep,
Underneath my set jaw
I weep.

You envision a world of beauty,
And for my part I grieve
I could never give you
Your desired reprieve.

You’re wounded and confused,
Ready to come home where there’s none
Shattered windows and trampled doors:
To the ashes you run.

These aren’t accusations.
I’m not angry at ghosts.
I’m sound, and fury, and sweet nothings,
Always tender to the utmost.

I think your fantasies were lovely,
But they’ve cost us the sum.
In these tremors, I ache, I feel
A million impulses inside the numb

Past the surface flash of burning ire
Lies the fresh earth of hollow graves
The dry flower beds of unopened blooms,
And the passing train cars that can’t be saved.

I see the tragedy ever unfolding
In over-cranked, slow motion spinning
And I know there must be time remaining-
Desperately I fumble to rewrite the ending

You yearn to return with packed bags
And reinhabit a dream you’ve once known
But there are no roads, and I go mad
Being unable to drive you home.